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Increase Your Productivity By Optimizing Your Menstrual Cycle

Written by: Abbie Stasior, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

If you’re working hard all day but not seeing the results you want, your hormone health may be holding you back. It’s time we women stop dreading our monthly menstrual cycles and start using this monthly gift to our advantage.

Woman hands holding decorative model uterus on pink background.

There is a way to change how you eat, exercise, and live to go with the grain of the natural fluctuations of our hormones that offers us:

  • More energy

  • Greater productivity

  • Increased confidence

  • A sense of alignment


Let’s dive into it!


Understanding Your Female Hormones


We all have a 24-hour light-dark cycle called our “circadian rhythm;” however, we women also have a secondary biological clock that lasts 28 days called our “infradian rhythm.” This is our Menstrual Cycle! Throughout these 28 days, our hormones change by 25%, which is highly significant!


Our hormones control so much about our bodies. The fluctuations of our hormones change our metabolism, our gut health, our ability to build muscle, our energy levels, our libido, our blood sugar, our mood, our creativity, our attractiveness, our fertility – essentially every bodily process we have!


A lot of people think we are either “on” our period or “off” of our period… but in reality, there are 4 distinct phases of the menstrual cycle: follicular, ovulation, luteal, and menstrual. Our hormones do something different in each of these phases, which is why we never feel quite the same week-to-week!


As Alisa Vitti has taught us, the woman who coined the term “Cycle Syncing,” it just doesn’t make sense to always eat, exercise, and approach work the same way day in and day out when our hormones change so much throughout the month. So there are special considerations to optimize your hormone health for each menstrual cycle phase.


In this article, we’ll cover the lifestyle, self-care, and work considerations to optimize your hormones to leverage your best productivity!


Productivity Considerations for Each Phase


Phase 1 – Follicular Phase:


Phase 1 is our Follicular phase, which starts right after we are done bleeding and lasts about 7-10 days. This is when we typically have increased energy, improved mood, greater motivation, and a greater willingness to try new things. If the Follicular phase was a season, it would be our Spring equivalent.


Thus, this is the best phase to brainstorm new ideas! It’s a great time to start new projects and set new goals. Because we have more energy and confidence, and are more naturally extroverted during this phase, it is easier for us to dive into new projects, put ourselves in new scenarios, and do new things!


Ideas to try in this phase:

  • Set new goals

  • Start a new project

  • On-board a new team member

  • Try a new desk setup or WFH layout

  • Post on a new social media platform

  • Start a new series of content

  • Brainstorm new ideas

  • Create and batch video content

  • Podcast

  • Film for course creation

  • Engage in public speaking

Phase 2 – Ovulation Phase:


The ovulation phase comes next and is our shortest (it only lasts 3-4 days), but it’s arguably the most important phase! We don’t want to miss out on optimizing this phase. This is our fertile window and when estrogen is at a peak, so we are naturally found to be the most magnetic and attractive at this time. If the Ovulation phase was a season, it would be our Summer equivalent. It’s good to use this to our advantage!


Ideas to try in this phase:

  • Jump on a sales call

  • Pitch Investors

  • Engage in public speaking

  • Film for course creation

  • Create and batch video content

  • Podcast

  • Ask for a raise

  • Facilitate a difficult conversation

  • Advocate for yourself / ask for what you need

Phase 3 – Luteal Phase:


The luteal phase lasts about 10-14 days and is the longest phase of the menstrual cycle. It is our Fall equivalent. This is when we should prioritize less front-facing work and do more behind-the-scenes administrative tasks. Even if we are extroverted, we are more naturally introverted at this time and crave more self-care and less front-facing work.


Ideas to try in this phase:

  • Writing email copy

  • Writing photo captions

  • Writing blog posts

  • Drafting out future podcast episodes

  • Messaging leads

  • Finishing up a project

  • Emailing

Phase 4 – Menstrual Phase:


The menstrual phase lasts 3-5 days and this is the time when we are bleeding. It is important to prioritize rest at this time and to listen to our bodies. This is our Winter equivalent. It is also the best time to self-reflect and evaluate how the last month has gone. It can be the best time to take stock of how things are going to course-correct moving forward. Especially since we know that the Follicular phase follows this, when it’s best to brainstorm new ideas and start new projects, it will be good to evaluate how the last month went to best start the next cycle.


Ideas to try in this phase:

  • Rest

  • Evaluation

  • Self-reflection

  • Behind-the-scenes work

  • Organization

  • Administrative work

  • Less front-facing duties

Greater productivity awaits once we learn to optimize the natural fluctuations of our hormones. We’ll constantly burn out and struggle to reach our full potential if our lifestyle and work life are constantly working against what our bodies want us to do naturally!


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Youtube for more info!


 

Abbie Stasior, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Abbie Stasior, MS is a Columbia University Master's graduate, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, future Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (expected July 2023). She founded Be About Being Better in 2018, which is a global, virtual health & life coaching company that specializes in helping people develop a diet-free, sustainable healthy lifestyle. By first optimizing their health and ditching the diet mentality, Abbie helps clients gain more energy, consistent routines, and greater confidence in order to live a better, more vibrant life and make a wider impact. She is a published researcher and has notable media features in the Medium, Thrive global, LadyBoss Blogger, as well as many podcast interviews.

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